Persistent annual cold snaps throughout North America in the past few years are bringing some places down to Arctic-level temperatures. And while some naysayers might insist that these colder winters are proof that there is no such thing as climate change, science would like to argue otherwise.
Basically, Earth’s thinning atmosphere is more apt to hold on to patches of cold air that normally would diffuse as they travel up and down from the planet’s north and south poles. The result of all of this is a greater temperature difference between the equator and the poles. And the result of that differentiation is that these cold patches get caught in formerly temperate areas, making them colder on average, while formerly subtropical places find themselves growing even warmer.
Scientists continue to monitor climate change and its effects on all of the world’s different environments. The polar ice caps might be melting in some places, but these record-breaking freezes could indicate that the shift in weather might also be affecting things in the opposite way. While the world works on a solution, Scambos and his fellow research scientists have set up instruments on the plateau to measure any other dips throughout Antarctica’s winter. Time will tell what deeper mysteries they reveal.
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